We Must Be Different!

Much of what goes on in our world today is about getting our way, having what we want, working for the good of me and mine.  But Christians are called to be different!

My heart has been so grieved at the continued coverage of the Florida church that is planning to burn copies of the Qur’an this Saturday.  It hurts me deeply to see even this small group of Christians miss the message of Christ by so very much!

I very much appreciated the words of Rev. Steve Braudt, at last nights Ignition Worship Experience.  He reminded all of us that “God loves everybody.”  All of us are created in the image of God.  All of us are God’s children and Christ died for all of us.  He didn’t just die for some of us.  He died for ALL of us!

Jesus Christ always reached out other with love, grace, compassion, and patience.  Jesus never never preached hatred of those who are different.  And ultimately he calls on us as Christians to be very different than the world.  He called on us to be unconditionally welcoming, unconditionally loving, unconditionally compassionate, and unconditionally merciful.

The hate that is being preach in the act of this small misguided church is NOT of God.  It is not from the God of the Bible and not from the Father of Jesus Christ.

“Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20.

May God’s love for this whole world cause each of us to act with love towards everyone we meet, no matter who they are.

Ignition!

One of the services of worship offered by First United Methodist Church of Cedar Falls is the Wednesday night service called “Ignition.”  Tonight was my first Ignition service.  Pastor Steve Braudt, Associate Pastor for Youth and a design team created the Ignition concept.  The service consists of cutting edge contemporary Christian music, a time of sharing, a time of prayer, a testimony, and weekly communion.

Pastor Steve asked me to share my testimony of my call to ministry.  He and I also served the Communion together.  I thought the service was a blast!  The young people and adults seemed engaged in the service, were having a good time, and enjoyed the upbeat spirit of the service.

As always the sacrament of Holy Communion is a special and holy time.  One of the things I love about the United Methodist understanding of communion is that as a means of God’s grace the table is open to all.  So adults, youth, and children alike can come to the Lord’s table.  No one is left out who wants to eat of the bread of life and experience Christ’s loving embrace.

I also much prefer communion by intinction to the small cups and small pieces of bread. (Though Methodists do have communion that way at times) For me it more closely fits the Apostle Paul’s metaphor of the body as one using one loaf and one cup as an example.  It also requires you to receive communion from another rather than “take” communion.

I’ll look forward to attending Ignition in the coming weeks, hearing the testimonies, and sharing at the Lord’s table with sisters and brother in Christ!

If you are in Cedar Falls on Wednesday nights at 7:00 a.m. come join the fun and the worship at the Ignition Center!